How to manually install Android 4.4.3 to your Nexus device using Ubuntu[outdated]

(Sahil Satishkumar,@SahRckr)

So you’ve probably heard that Google has released the android 4.4.3 factory images for the nexus devices, Sadly OTA upgrades for most of the nexus lineup is not yet out.

If you want to upgrade your Nexus device to 4.4.3 without waiting for the OTA, (or you have a bricked device and have the necessary image files) Continue reading, as these are the instructions to upgrade your nexus device to android KitKat 4.4.3

This upgrade was done on a Nexus 7, 2012 wifi. Other nexus device users have to download different files, mentioned specifically.

[DISCLAIMER: The Author or The company is not responsible for any harm caused to your device after following this tutorial.]

List of required Software/Hardware:

  • A PC running on Ubuntu/Linux distro with a USB port.

  • A Nexus 4/5/7(2012 or 2013)/10.

  • a Micro-USB to USB cable.

  • For Nexus 7 2012 wifi: Android 4.4.3 image fileFastboot

  • For other nexus devices : Find your device in this list of image file. Download the correct version. Also just keep a fastboot for your device ready.

  • lots of patience.

Assuming that you have all the things mentioned above, it may now take around 15 minutes to complete this process.

Before doing anything to your device, ensure atleast 50% of juice in your battery. Connect your device to your Ubuntu/Linux PC using the micro-USB to USB cable. If possible keep a backup of all the user data files for you to restore later.

(Short tip : Terminal shortcut Ctrl+Alt+T)

1. Download the required development tools.

You’ll need fastboot and adb development tools ready in your Ubuntu/Linux PC.

Open the terminal and type each of the commands to install these tools.

$sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb

$sudo apt-get install android-tools-fastboot

2. Enable USB debugging option in your nexus device.

Go to Settings > About tablet > Build number.

Select Build number 7 times. This will make you a developer

After becoming a developer,

Go to settings>developer options, Tick the USB debugging option.

You will be asked to authenticate your current PC, And press OK.

After this step you only have to work with your computer keyboard mostly, so you can keep your nexus device connected to the PC away from your hands.

3. Flash the image file.

You must have downloaded the image file. Extract the .tgz file using Archive Manager and move the bootloader-grouper-4.23.img, and to another folder, say, for my device nakasi-ktu84l in the desktop(or anywhere comfortable).

To this same folder (nakasi-ktu84l) you should move the adb-linux and fastboot-linux, which you’ll find inside your download

Screenshot from 2014-06-04 20:55:25
folder (nakasi-ktu84l)

In the terminal locate this folder.

( Simple command for the same is given below, remove ‘*’


$ cd *drag and drop your folder to terminal*

Location or Path of folder mean the same)

Run the command, mentioned below

$ adb reboot bootloader

This command will take you to the fastboot mode where you can see the bootloader state of your device.

(You’ll see a Android droid with *a portion of stomach open* lying horizontally as if it were to be operated upon, That’s really funny! )

after Entering the fastboot mode, run the command


you will be told that this step will unlock you bootloader and warranty will be void(This will be taken care of later). Also you’ll loose user data. To which you should select yes.

( to those who are interested int what this shell script does,


fastboot oem unlock

fastboot erase boot

fastboot erase cache

fastboot erase recovery

fastboot erase system

fastboot erase userdata

fastboot flash bootloader respective-bootloader-img-file.img

fastboot reboot-bootloader

sleep 10

fastboot -w update


Basically the shell script command Unlocks your device, erases your memory,cache,recovery, and flashes new OS, bootloader file, and it boots back to your OS )

4. Enable USB debugging option in your nexus device. (Same as step 2)

And enter to fastboot mode again using the command.

$ adb reboot bootloader

5. Download and install custom recovery, and finally root your device (optional)

If you want to install custom recovery for your device and root your device, execute this step, else head to step 6

Download TWRP recovery kit, image file for nexus 7 wifi, 2012

For other devices : Find your device in this list of image files. Download the correct version.

Keep this file in a known, easily accessible location in your PC.

Run the command given below , remove ‘*’.

$ sudo fastboot flash recovery *location-of-TWRP.img*

(you can use the drag and drop technique for location of the image file)

Navigate using the volume keys, enter recovery mode. This will take you to TWRP recovery mode.

Select cancel if you are asked for a password.

On the next screen choose reboot. Then choose recovery.

Lastly boot to your Android OS , Download and install super user (It’ll be waiting in the notification), This will take back to recovery mode. after few operations it’ll boot back to your Android OS.

before heading to the next step in your terminal run the command

$ adb reboot bootloader

6. Lock your bootloader

After performing all the steps above you have to keep in mind that you have lost you warranty by unlocking the bootloader,

To keep you warranty intact Locked bootloader is mandatory which can be done by this simple command in the terminal

$ sudo fastboot oem lock

These were the quick 6 steps to upgrade your nexus device to android 4.4.3!

Sorry for not uploading any screenshots, by the time I started typing this article, my device was already restoring apps on android 4.4.3

Please let me know in the comments sections for any help!

Sahil Satishkumar for SahRckrTech Weekly.

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Editor’s recommendation: Titanium Backup